Lut revolution™ demonstration program at Baosteel’s seamless pipe factory in Baoshan, China.
During summer and fall 2019, a Lut revolution™ wall thickness gauge was installed at the exit of the mandrel mill at Baosteel’s seamless pipe factory in Baoshan, China. Baosteel’s R&D and operations groups’ decision to install the gauge at this location was bold and innovative. The presence of a mandrel bar inside the tube at this location makes the use of a radiometric-based system impossible. But encouraged by the excellent reputation of Tecnar’s latest laser-ultrasonic technology and with the aim of acquiring new manufacturing insights, Baosteel ran a project using the Lut revolution™ in their Shanghai plant for a few months.
« Despite a tight schedule, the gauge was installed and commissioned in time and without any disruption to mill operations. »
The Lut revolution™ achieved a level of accuracy better than 50um and displayed a very high level of industrial availability. This is largely thanks to the hard work and collaboration from everyone involved in the project at Baosteel. Unfortunately, there was an incident in which a mandrel got out of line and hit the sensor. Nonetheless, both Tecnar’s and Baosteel’s technical people succeeded in getting the system back in operation in just a few days. Although this incident was troublesome, it proved both the robustness of the Lut revolution™ and the responsiveness of Tecnar’s service team. The measurements made during the trial period using the Lut revolution™ have led to new observations concerning the behaviour of the tube mill. Mean wall thickness deviations and eccentricity were of particular interest and investigated in depth. Using information obtained from the Lut revolution™ advanced thickness profile analysis, it was possible for Baosteel to identify wall thickness variations as a problematic factor in the tube manufacturing process and to develop better ways to control thickness and achieve higher final product quality.
“The Lut evolution™ system was very effective at detecting even minute variations in wall thickness while displaying a very good level of industrial availability.”
For instance, using the Lut evolution™, Baosteel were able to see an eccentricity increase for tubes with higher carbon content. The Lut evolution™ clearly showed that these tubes had a higher level of first order eccentricity generated by the piercing process. On other occasions, the Lut evolution™ was able to detect a periodic increase in eccentricity. A defective piercing bar was rapidly identified as the cause. Furthermore, using advanced data analysis algorithms, the Lut evolution™ was able to independently monitor the level of eccentricity caused by unevenly heated billets, piercing bar wear or fluctuation in the piercing plug position. Average wall thickness changes were also detected as the mill temperature increased following an outage or when adjusting the stands at the beginning of a production lot.
During the trial period, the Lut evolution™ system was very effective at detecting even minute variations in wall thickness while displaying a very good level of industrial availability. Baosteel was satisfied by the performances of the Lut revolution™ and certainly intends to make it a permanent part of their success in the near future.
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- Supplier of the machine: Tecnar Automation Ltd.
- Model of the equipment: Lut evolution™ – Demo
- Month and year of commissioning: November 2019
- Application for which machine is used: On-line wall thickness measurement
- Tubes specifications:
- Tube diameter range: 90 mm–250 mm
- Tube thickness range: 4 mm–35 mm
- Tube temperature range: 700℃–1000℃
- Tube length range: 8 m–32 m
- Tube material: steel
- Measurement accuracy: thickness ≤ 20 mm ±0.1 mm / thickness 20 mm–35 mm ± 0.4 mm
- Performance of the machine: satisfying
- Service: satisfying
- Other remarks: eccentricity measurement is useful for tracing the production problem from piercing process and overall production process control.
Client: Baosteel Φ 140 seamless pipe line